Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to setup an automatic backup system using rsync to backup documents/source code from Mac OS X to Ubuntu Server.

I have some documents written in Pages (iWork), and lastly when I tried to backup these to the server, they looked like archive-files since Ubuntu OS don't recognize the Mac OS X specific file format *.pages. When I then took one of these files from the server and tried to open it in Pages on the Macbook, it couldn't open it!

This just can't happen, so how (if possible) can I get rid of this issue and ensure that even operating system specific files can be opened after the backup?

Kind regards, Ramon

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

.pages documents indeed are directories, not single files, just like many other MacOS things (Applications, pkg files etc.). This is called a package in MacOS, and there is a special file system flag that tells the Finder to treat a certain directory as a package (you can look into it by cding into it in the shell or right click the file in the Finder and select "Show Package Contents").

To keep the attributes, you'll have to use a newer rsync version then supplied by Apple, e.g. by installing it via Homebrew, and then use the -X option during the rsync operations.

Alternatively, tar the files on the MacOS side before copying to the backup server.

share|improve this answer
Actually when you're saying it, what is the preferred way to setup rsync with cronjob here? Since my Macbook will be the client and my Ubuntu Server the server? Should I setup the cronjob on the client or the server? – Ramon Mar 24 '14 at 13:21

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.